As a beginner to any new activity, you can often feel a bit insecure and vulnerable. Add in the fear factor of climbing and it becomes clear why a quality instructor is essential to enjoy this sport. I decided to check out Railay Rock Climbing Shop after reading the reviews on this site.
I stopped by the shop which is located on "Walking Street" in West Railay. Jane (the owner and former climber with the Thai national team) greeted me and we chatted for quite some time about the climbing packages and other things related to Railay. I sat down and talked to a young man who had completed a day of the three day course. He was very impressed with his instructor, particularly on his knowledge of climbing and commitment to safety. I decided this was enough and booked the 3 day course for 6,000 baht.
Jay was my instructor for the three days. I could not have been happier. He was patient, professional, and most importantly, very safe. He inspected the equipment each day to ensure proper working order, and clearly knew exactly what was going on through every aspect of the climb to ensure optimum safety. I must admit, I was not a quick learner, yet Jay was extremely patient and helpful. Routes were chosen to match skill level, and there was plenty of climbing to be done.
I must say, that if you plan to pick up climbing as a new sport or hobby and want to learn all the basics, the 3 day course is necessary. You will learn everything (including lead climbing) that will get you started. If you just want to do a fun climb and snap some pictures of yourself clinging to a wall hanging over turquoise waters, a half day should suit you just fine. Either way will be a ton of fun!
Although I can unequivocally recommend Railay Rock Climbing Shop, I must also say that the instructors from the other shops I met and observed at the walls also seemed very professional. The whole climbing scene at Railay seems to be very dedicated to the integrity of the sport. Try it out, you won't regret it!
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